Domingo Noguera
July 12, 2022

We are at an epic turning point. Both for our history and for that of our planet. We have inherited an economic approach technically called "Progressivism" whose model foresees the development of the economy and collective well-being in an infinite mode. Now, however, we know with certainty that it is not so!

There are not enough resources on earth to develop all the activities necessary for mankind. This means that we have to orient our economic activities differently, optimising our production processes, resource management and the resulting waste.

"Such a complex challenge, in addition to needing a long and articulated work, must be extremely clear and shared by all." This is the conclusion that the UN came to, and afterwards published in 2015 the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), identifying 17 priorities in different areas and sectors that can be summarised in three main focuses: ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all within 15 years.

The one we have identified and analysed is Goal 12, which refers to "Responsible Production and Consumption". It specifically considers all aspects of extending the life of consumer products and reducing pollution during production.

Having said that, we can focus on the issue that we have identified by advocating towards this objective: the macro-category of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), specifically ICT (Information & Communication Technologies).

ICT is a "key" and fundamental sector for sustainable development because it is a proponent of innovation, digitalization and economic growth, necessary to spread prosperity in the next 15 years; on the other hand, it’s also a source of concern related to the management of its waste, technically known as "waste electrical and electronic equipment" (WEEE), which has become a tangible problem due to the rapid pace of growth, as opposed to the difficulties of proper disposal of this waste.

Let’s take into account the data coming from the E-Waste Monitor 2020 report (Electronic Waste Monitor 2020) published by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in collaboration with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which reports that "Growing levels of electronic waste, improper and unsafe treatment, and disposal through incineration or landfill pose significant challenges to the environment, human health, and the achievement of SGDs." (E-waste Monitor 2020).

The goal is to gather the interest of all readers who could contribute to the discussion and thus increase the information gathered.